|Posted by Judi F Radel on|
Twin lambs born on Yeehaw Farm (1/22/14)
As you can see from the photo, lambing season has started on Yeehaw Farm. As I type this, only three ewes have lambed but we are patiently waiting for the rest of the girls to get busy and push those babies out. Also expected to make appearances soon are kid goats. We haven’t had baby goats on Yeehaw Farm in almost two years as we didn’t get one goat last kidding season. The previous fall, our buck goat developed a hernia making him unable to perform his duties. Goats and sheep are seasonal breeders, meaning that they only come into heat a couple months out of the year, usually in the fall so that babies can be born in the spring. It makes perfect sense, really. The lambs and kids are born in the early spring and get a solid start by nursing off of the mother’ milk until they learn to eat on their own. By that time, the grass turns green and when released out to pasture, they hit the ground knowing exactly what to do to replenish their bodies. Some farmers will give hormone shots to bring the goats and sheep into heat so that babies can be born throughout the year but we feel that is seriously messing with nature. Rest assured, the lamb and goat meat that you eat from Yeehaw Farm will NEVER have hormone shots tainted in the meat.
Oh, and about that buck goat that couldn’t do his job? He was quickly replaced by a super stud who could!
This week, there is whole smoked chicken in the freezer. We hope that you enjoy the flavor and smokiness of the chicken. In my opinion, it tastes a similar to ham. The chicken is almost fully cooked so to prepare, we usually place it in a pan of water and bake (on low heat) until really tender. Just like one would roast a regular chicken. Our own family enjoyed a meal of smoked chicken one night and the next night, I picked off the chicken, threw some potatoes and green beans into the broth and served a meal much like ham and green beans. Two quick meals out of one chicken.
The chicken just came out of the smoke house this week and for some reason, I had a difficult time vacuum sealing them. So, rest assured, if the bag is not fully sealed, it has only been frozen since Tuesday. We will have more smoked chicken this winter but for this first batch out of the smoker, we asked that you only took one chicken to start.
Another item that it is in short supply this time of year is eggs. The chickens do not lay as many eggs these cold days so we are asking our members to bear with us. We have enough eggs for each family to get one dozen eggs a week so we are limiting eggs until production goes back up. Thanks for understanding.
This coming week, we have marked our calendars to process two pigs, one goat, two beefs, a couple veal calves and more chickens. Next week, we hope to have fresh chicken and we will put more chicken in the brine for more smoked chicken. Hopefully, the freezer will be fully stocked with a nice meat selection next weekend. With the exception of beef, as it will have to dry age and hang for at least three weeks so it will be a bit longer for beef. If anyone would like a fresh beef heart, liver or tongue, please let us know and we will have it ready for you next weekend.
How about this cold Pennsylvania weather this year? Not to rub it in but just last week, I returned from a week long trip to warm, sunny Florida! It wasn’t exactly a vacation as I attended the National Farmer’s Union Women’s Conference in Clearwater Beach, Florida. It was a conference for national farm policies and training sessions, which will definitely help us in the future. It was an honor to be in the company of women farmers from all over the United States who share the same passion and work ethic of preserving America’s family farms. I also had the privilege of meeting the current Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Krysta Harden who spoke at the conference and shared dinner with us. Although our days were packed to the gills, I did get a chance to slip my toes into the Gulf of Mexico more than a few times as our hotel was located directly on the beach. (Sorry, I just had to rub it in a little.) Alas, don’t be too jealous, my trip to Florida included riding in a passenger van with ten women for 20 hours each way! Need I say more? Ha.
Don’t forget our pond is frozen and ready for ice fishing. There is a bit too much snow for ice skating but you are welcome to try it if you like. Just call or email to let us know if you would like to try any of those winter activities! If we are stuck with this cold weather, we might as well enjoy some fun winter activities.
Until next newsletter-
Your Yeehaw farmers,
Tom, Judi, and the rest of the gang.